Meet Broadway Wiz Bright Star, Matthew from Cookeville, TN.
His favorite show is RENT, and in addition to being a performer, he is also a director, choreographer, and wig designer!
On average, how many Broadway shows do you see a year?
How many local shows or community theater shows do you see a year?
Favorite Broadway show:
All-time favorite performer:
Songs you like to belt in the shower:
“Soul Of A Man”
Favorite piece of theater memorabilia you own:
AA poster from my production of RENT (assistant directed, choreographed, and played Mark in 2013) signed by OBC members of RENT.
Most memorable performance you’ve ever seen:
The Color Purple revival with the original cast. I have never been more moved than seeing Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson perform on that stage. It was magical.
Best interaction you have had with another theater fan:
At the first ever BroadwayCon – just being in the presence of other theatre fans, walking up and starting conversations with others dressed as their favorite characters like you had known each other forever.
Why do you love theater?
It’s a huge part of my life. I began performing at a very young age, and have always used theatre as an outlet to be whatever I wanted to be, and to escape the real world for a while. I think the arts are such an extraordinary thing that can help encourage and guide so many, and it’s important to expose our youth to the arts so they can better understand and develop their own creative style.
Mark in RENT was an absolute dream, but a few others that I’ve yet to play are: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Charlie in Kinky Boots, Emmett in Legally Blonde, Huey in Memphis, and the list goes on and on.
Best stagedoor or backstage experience?
I did a study abroad trip to London, and had several wonderful stagedoor experiences on the West End. Some of the nicest performers stood and talked, some for half an hour, and were so genuine. Also, meeting and getting autographs from the entire cast of Fun Home was pretty epic. I also got to witness Matthew Morrison’s final performance in Finding Neverland. That was amazing.
Favorite spots in NYC:
Serendipity! Those frozen hot chocloates are THE BEST!!!
If you could sing a duet or perform a scene with any Broadway star, who would it be?
Oh, that’s difficult! I would have to say Megan Hilty would be a blast to perform with!
Did you ever fangirl when you met an actor/performer?:
At BroadwayCon, it wasn’t unusual at all to run into a star walking around the convention. I literally walked into Adam Kantor while wearing my Mark sweater, and just froze. Haha! We then took a photo together and he was super nice. I also met and took a photo with Anthony Rapp in the sweater, as well. It’s pretty cool to have a photo with Broadway’s first AND last Mark Cohen’s, while wearing THE “Mark” sweater from my time playing him, as well.
What would your super power be?
Ummmm… super stamina?! Did you know it’s harder to run and sing than it is to dance and sing? Who knew?!
Where can we stalk you online?
Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat: matthewhayes05
Anything else you would like to share? Funny stories, weird facts about yourself, cool talents?
In addition to being a performer, I’m also a director, choreographer, and wig designer!